Pride Month

Since it’s June, it seems to be a good time to write about Pride Month and its history!

June is Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. June was chosen because it’s the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, which began on the early morning of June 28th, 1969. The Stonewall Riots took place in New York, and are often considered the start of the modern gay rights movement. The Stonewall Inn was owned by the Mafia at the time, and was one of the only places to openly cater to the gay community, including its most marginalized members, such as transgender people, drag queens, butch lesbians, and homeless youth. Police attempted to raid the inn, and tensions went up when transgender women refused to go to the bathrooms with police officers to have their biological gender checked. A crowd gathered, drawn by the commotion, and were sparked into action when a woman resisted arrest, fighting with police officers.

Rainbow flag proudly waving

There are two other very important anniversaries to the LGBTQ+ community that also take place in June. The first is the anniversary of the Pulse Nightclub shooting last summer, which was on June 12th. The shooting was a hate crime that killed 49 people attending a gay and lesbian club in Orlando, and was both the deadliest mass shooting by a single shooter and the deadliest hate crime against LGBTQ+ people in US history.

On a substantially happier note, the final noteworthy date, June 26th, marks the anniversary of same-sex marriage legalization in the United States! The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Obergefell v. Hodges that same-sex couples could indeed get married, a goal that the LGBTQ+ community had been working towards ever since the Stonewall Riots started the Pride movement. It just goes to show, even though we still have a long way to go, we’ve come very far since the days of Stonewall.

(Cool side note: If you Google any word related to Pride Month during June, such as ‘gay’ or ‘bisexual,’ Google will add rainbows to the search results.)

2017 Senior Send Off

Last Friday was the annual Senior Send Off. All the classes were called down by floor.

When everyone was seated, Dr. Tucker spoke about how everyone should follow their dreams.

Ms. Rohweller-Kocur spoke about the teachers and staff who were retiring. Ms. Ship, the vice principal for juniors and seniors, Marvel, from the health start clinic, Sr. Rios, a Spanish immersion teacher, Ms. Sherrod, the personal finance teacher, and Ms. Harrison, the school nurse, are all retiring after this school year.

photo courtesy of Rose Patzner Wahlberg via Facebook

After saying goodbye to them, Ms. Rohweller-Kocur invited the senior student council representatives to address their class.

Next, Ms. Ship gave some inspirational advice.

Ms. Ships’ speech was followed by messages to the seniors from their siblings. While some were funny and meant as a joke, others were very sweet and full of emotion.

The last part of the assembly, before the seniors got to leave, was the senior slide show. The slide show contained pictures of the seniors throughout their lives as students.

When the slide show ended, the seniors were allowed to leave through the passage in the middle of the gym. The passage was lined with teachers saying good-bye to their former students.

The Senior Send Off is a great way to congratulate the seniors and celebrate the fact that the next chapter of their life is beginning.

 

New iPads

For the next school year, teachers and students will be given new iPads to use for school. The new iPads will have a different case, along with a keyboard. The case and keyboard are navy blue. The keyboard can be attached and detached easily. The keyboard does not have touch pads, but has everything else on it.

The reasons why the school decided to get these new iPads is because they have a three year lease on them, and have been planning to get new iPads for a while now. Also, the new iPads have 128 gigabytes whereas the old ones had just 16. With more gigabytes, it will be easier for students to use the iPads, and make movies for school projects. Another reason for the change, is because the old iPads would eventually break down, so keeping the old iPads wouldn’t be worth it. Plus, the new iPads are more durable to use.

The school hopes to pass out the iPads sooner next year. The paper for getting an iPad will still be online, so students and parents can access it. The plan for passing out the new iPads is to maybe pass them out even before school starts, so students could possibly come pick up their iPad in late August or early September.

Grand Old Days

If you didn’t go to Grand Old Days this year in St. Paul, you missed out. The festival this year was held on Saturday, June 4th, and it lasted all day long. Grand Old Days is a fun filled exciting day that runs up and down Grand Ave all day. The day is full of fun activities like bouncy houses, slides, and fun little mini games like bags or home run derby.

There is also a lot of different kinds of foods available. The food is served via food stands and is cooked right in front of you, so it is always new and fresh. The foods they serve include all your typical festival foods like corn dogs, hamburgers, and hot dogs, but there are also some different foods that in my opinion taste better. The options don’t stop at food though, and there are many drinks like Jamba Juice, lemonade, soda, and this year I even saw drinks served in whole coconuts.

Grand Old Days is a place to go if you want to go and have a good time with your friends and family or by yourself.

Once you have eaten and walked around, and enjoyed what there is to see, you can have a little rest and wait for the parade. The parade is a fantastic parade that includes small and big businesses and organizations, shops on Grand, and of course candy. The parade is never disappointing and always very interesting to see what floats they make to use in the parade. This year there was a wide variety of floats in the parade ranging from small flashy and colorful floats to huge floats packed to the brim with people throwing out candy.

Grand Old Days, as an overall activity, is a great family friendly fun event where you enjoy every second that you are there. I know that I had fun at Grand Old Days and I’m confident that if I asked people that went they would say the same.

Another thing that is very cool at Grand Old Days is the amount of local businesses that have been given space and booths at the event. Many events now are just overrun by big companies and businesses, but at Grand Old Days, and in most of St. Paul, they encourage and support small businesses and local stores or companies.

On the Grand Old Days webpage, they have a whole section devoted to local businesses, and at the event they have two whole blocks set aside for local businesses. I think that this is a very cool thing that they are doing because, like I said before, most events are overrun by big companies and businesses, but I feel that new ideas do need to be expressed and I’ve found that most small and local businesses have very unique and new ideas. Now this isn’t to say that every small business does, but it is more common. This is why I enjoy Grand Old Days as much as I do, because they give everyone a chance to express themselves and share what they have to offer.